7 Amazing Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
With their white and shaggy appearance, the lion’s mane mushrooms are indeed similar to what they’ve named after. However, more than just their appearance, these mushrooms have several uses in many Asian cultures, both as a culinary ingredient and medicine for common ailments like anxiety, digestive issues, and more.
They can be enjoyed in various ways – from being eaten raw to being steeped to make tea. However, the most popular method, especially when reaping their various health benefits, is turning them into over-the-counter supplements.
With that said, what are the health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms that make them so popular as supplements?
They can help protect the brain against dementia.
As we age, so does our brain which typically means that its ability to form new connections declines as well. This is why many tend to become more forgetful in old age, with some even suffering from forms of dementia like the one experienced with Alzheimer’s disease.
However, there have been studies that show that the two compounds, erinacines and hericenones, found in the lion’s mane mushrooms are helpful in the stimulation of the growth of brain cells.
Moreover, studies made on animals have also shown that they can be helpful in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative condition that affects mostly older adults. Although this has yet to be applied in humans, they have been known to improve brain function and prevent memory loss.
They can help protect against ulcers in your digestive tract.
Ulcers are painful and they can form anywhere along your digestive tract – from your stomach to your large intestine. There are two known causes of ulcers – one is due to damage caused to the mucous layer in the stomach and two is due to the rapid growth of the H. pylori bacteria.
For the latter, some studies have shown that lion’s mane mushrooms have helped prevent the growth of the said bacteria, thereby, preventing ulcers from forming and protecting the stomach.
Moreover, it has been found that these mushrooms are more effective at lowering acid in the stomach compared to typical antacids and often do not have any side effects when doing so.
They can help alleviate some symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression are complex illnesses, with many factors that can possibly contribute to their development. One of those can be chronic inflammation – something that lion’s mane mushrooms have been known to help with.
Studies conducted on animals have shown that lion’s mane mushrooms have helped reduce inflammation as well as some symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Moreover, since they help regenerate brain cells and improve the functioning of the hippocampus – the part of the brain that’s responsible for memories and emotional response, this can be a factor in the reduction of symptoms of anxiety and depression in individuals.
They can help manage symptoms of diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body loses its innate ability to regulate the blood’s sugar levels, resulting in constantly high sugar levels in the blood. This can cause other complications like kidney disease and nerve damage. Wounds also have difficulty healing when you have diabetes.
There have been studies that show that the lion’s mane mushrooms have some effect at regulating the condition, significantly lowering blood sugar in the blood.
Moreover, it has been shown to inhibit the activity of the alpha-glucosidase enzyme, the one responsible for breaking down carbs in the small intestine, thereby lowering the blood’s sugar levels.
They can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
There are many factors for heart disease such as high cholesterol, obesity, and others. However, there has been some research that shows these mushrooms have some effect on the reduction of the risk of heart disease.
For example, it improves the body’s metabolism of fats in the body, thereby, greatly reducing the risk of heart disease. Moreover, some experiments have shown that these mushrooms are also effective at preventing the oxidation of cholesterol, reducing the risk of having heart attacks and strokes.
They help reduce inflammation as well as oxidative stress.
Many studies show some correlation between oxidative stress and many of today’s common diseases like heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer.
With that said, some research has shown that these mushrooms have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that help reduce the effects of these illnesses. In fact, it has been found that the lion’s mane mushrooms have the fourth highest antioxidant content among 14 different species of mushrooms.
Several studies have also reduced the occurrence of inflammation and oxidative stress in some animals, giving some hope that these can be applied to humans eventually.
They can help fight cancer.
Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in modern times and it occurs when cells divide and multiply uncontrollably due to damage to one’s DNA.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce oxidative stress as well as several unique compounds, it can be helpful in the fight against cancer. In fact, it has been shown that mixing the lion’s mane extract with human cancer cells results in the cancer cells dying at a much quicker rate.
These have been effective with several types of cancers such as cancer cells of the stomach, colon, liver, and blood.
Lion’s mane mushrooms are known to have several amazing benefits and the ones highlighted above–anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and its fantastic effects on mental health–are just some of them. If you’re looking to add this to your diet, I strongly suggest taking a high-quality supplement. You can find the best lion’s mane supplements I recommend here.